Technical Briefs

Incremental Forming of Sheet Metal by Means of Parallel Kinematics Machines

[+] Author and Article Information
Massimo Callegari1

Dipartimento di Meccanica, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italym.callegari@univpm.it

Andrea Gabrielli, Matteo-Claudio Palpacelli, Marco Principi

Dipartimento di Meccanica, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy


Corresponding author.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 130(5), 054501 (Aug 19, 2008) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2823064 History: Received November 22, 2006; Revised November 08, 2007; Published August 19, 2008

The incremental forming of metal sheet parts can be an interesting alternative to the manual forging of the blanks or to the manufacturing of resin dies for the production of prototypes or small lots of parts. Indeed, the characteristics of small-volume production would call for an increase in the level of automation, possibly leading to a robotized cell able to complete the part after forming: in this case, the robot performing the deformation could automatically change its tools, cut the part, bend or flange the borders, load/unload the part, etc. Unfortunately, the conventional industrial robots do not have the required stiffness and are unable to apply the necessary forces to the blank. However, the rather new family of parallel robots has characteristics similar to machining centers, while still keeping the versatility of a robot. The present paper outlines the studies that have been performed at the Polytechnic University of Marche in Ancona to assess the feasibility of the automated processing by using a hybrid robot interlocked to the incremental forming cell. The complexity of the experimental setup required the use of several simulation tools enabling off-line design of the experiments. In the end, an effective development environment has been set up, able to interface the different software tools in order to support the process designer in making the correct choices.

Copyright © 2008 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

The robotized incremental forming cell

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Figure 2

Tool’s path in direct (on the left) and inverse (on the right) negative forming

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Figure 3

Static performances of the robot Tricept HP1

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Figure 4

Wooden die with blank holder and clamping fixtures

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Figure 5

Five-axis deformation of steel and copper blanks

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Figure 6

Tapered die and the blank being formed unto it

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Figure 7

Fixtures used to form an automobile’s chair back

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Figure 8

Flanging of the hatch



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